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Fiction: 1970s

Fiction of the Day

Dirtnap

By Taylor Koekkoek

I was staying at Jean’s apartment in LA for two months to escape an especially dire Oregon winter and to test how much weight our relationship could bear. We had been conducting a long-distance romance for nearly a year then, back-and-forth visits and weekend excursions, spending all our money on the effort. All-the-time texting, everyday emailing. If we performed all the steps in our elaborate ritual, in exactly the right order, it was possible to conjure the other; to feel, rather than eight hundred miles apart, as though we were separated by a wall, a closed door. Jean happened to be better suited to this than I was. She possessed first-rate powers of object permanence; she was uncommonly kind and endlessly receptive to inspirations of beauty too minute and too remote for me to access. She worked in those days as a freelance copywriter and social media strategist for hip start-ups. Even these tasks she approached with unlimited, inexplicable enthusiasm.

Dr. Justino Ybarra, Dispeller of Blindness

By Ray Russell

The treacherous nature of human language is shown with admonitory force in an incident well known, if not fully understood, among the people of this part of the hemisphere in which I spend my days. In the capitol of one of those countries bordering on mine, during the rule of the present dictator’s infamous uncle, there was erected a spacious and elegant clinic, all of white marble, modelled chiefly after the Alhambra, but with disquieting influences of Versailles and Stonehenge.